Meeting local needs for training, technical assistance, and research in transportation

Congratulations to the winners of the Kansas 2020 "Build a Better Mousetrap" competition


Saline County Road and Bridge took first place for its Box Culvert Cleaning Attachment innovation,
and Lyon County Highway Department placed second for its Portable Traffic Sign innovation.
 

 

 

FIRST PLACE - SALINE COUNTY ROAD AND BRIDGE
BOX CULVERT CLEANING ATTACHMENT

THE PROBLEM: 
Saline County Road and Bridge recognized the need for an effective way to clean out a low concrete box culvert that would be relatively inexpensive while utilizing equipment they already owned.

THE SOLUTION:
"We had an idea for a skid loader attachment that could be hauled to the project in stacked sections and assembled at the worksite on the same trailer used to haul the skid steer loader. We used a local manufacturing company to build the attachment and it cost about $4,000. The ability to clean culverts allows for the free passage of runoff and drainage waters. This saves damages to the roadway and personal property."

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SECOND PLACE - LYON COUNTY HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT  
PORTABLE TRAFFIC SIGN

THE PROBLEM: 
Traffic signs like Stop and/or Yield signs get stolen or knocked down often, and must be put back up as soon as the notification is received. The individual responsible for setting it back up may not be able to find the existing hole and/or remove the stub, and cannot dig new holes without one call locates.

THE SOLUTION:
"A portable stop or yield sign can be easily transported to the site by one person. Most times, the items needed are not known, and it takes precious time to gather everything you might need. There is no need to gather supplies when responding with the portable sign. The legs adjust to level the sign in steep or uneven ditches, and an extension is used to reach an appropriate height in deep ditches. A few long stakes can tie it to the ground in high winds. We used mostly scrap posts and estimated the cost to be $50 per unit, which includes:
  • Labor: 1 hour per unit
  • Equipment: Welder, wrenches, drill
  • Materials: Square posts, 4 pins, 1 sign, 3 metal stakes, 2 U-bolts, 4 washers
Due to quicker response times to erect, the community is provided a safer intersection in a shorter time. The unit is easily transported in pickup, SUV, car, or utility vehicle. The unit is a saver for responding personnel. Employees don't have to waste time gathering possible needed materials. The unit can be set up in multiple types of terrains by one person."
 
   
 
 
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Kansas LTAP is proud to host the Build A Better Mousetrap Competition as a platform for local agencies who have brilliant ideas to enhance the efficiency of their work.

This friendly, competitive challenge rewards the top three winners based on cost and savings, benefits to the community and the environment, transferability, ingenuity, and effectiveness. All candidates' entries will be sent to the national competition which disseminates the ideas in an electronic booklet to all LTAP/TTAP Centers.

Interested in participating? Submit your idea by May 31, 2021 for a chance to win! 

MORE INFORMATION
For questions about the competition or for more information, contact Hemin Mohammed at hemin@ku.edu or 785-864-6631.